With the Queen of Swords appearing as if she’s had enough, the overall numerology of nine or completion for today’s cards seems prescient. Oppression and Indolence are the titles of the 10 of Wands and the 8 of Cups respectively, so will that’s oppressive is at odds with our emotions. Indolence suggests laziness or inaction, so in this case, it may be that oppressive forces are preventing our emotions from informing any solutions. And clearly, the Queen is having none of it, her sword hanging from her outstretched right hand, a severed head in the left.
Of course, I can’t look at this without thinking about the recent school shooting and the conversation that’s beginning, once again, on the appropriateness of assault weapons in private hands. Looking at the 10 of Wands, eight flame-tipped wands blend together in a balanced pattern behind two ornate spear-tipped wands standing tall in front. Lots of catalytic activity happening in the background while two ideas or people are asserting themselves. Or it could also mean that there are two sides of an issue with many opinions. The wands may be arranged in an interactive pattern, but the fiery flames and the bright orange background illustrate that there is no meeting of the minds. The will of each one is too strong for anyone to listen.
Indolence is an interesting word that Crowley uses to title the 8 of Cups. The scene shows dark clouds over the ocean, with 8 cups in various states. Four seem empty while water flows through four others. While there may be a balance of sorts here, the darkness suggests disappointment. Other depictions of this card from more traditional decks suggest letting go of what no longer serves and reaching for higher goals.
Now, as we already know, the Queen of Swords doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Nor should any of us as far as this witch is concerned. She’s assertive and intelligent, perceptive and intuitive. And she doesn’t allow nonsense, off with his head, a definite option.
It’s clear that the students have had enough. Women feel the same. We’re tired of dialogue that goes nowhere. We’re tired of worrying about whether or not our children will come home or we’ll be burying them along with their friends. And we’re sick of people who believe that we can do nothing other than to preserve the status quo.
The status quo is unacceptable.
As I write this, I’m listening to a discussion on the television between lawmakers over gun control. Many are still tip-toeing around the subject. All the current president keeps pointing out is how no other president did anything and how he doesn’t care if no one likes him. In my opinion, the Assault Weapons Ban should have never ended. Allowing that to happen has placed weapons of war in the hands of eighteen-year-old kids.
Which is also unacceptable.
These people can’t even agree that someone under twenty-one shouldn’t be able to purchase let alone have possession of an assault weapon. This is the new normal they expect us to accept. We’re to believe that our children will only be safe in school now if we arm teachers, an idea that horrifies most teachers. A minority believes the 2nd Amendment protects their right to own assault weapons. They’re wrong. And now we’re all kept hostage by their minority belief.
I grew up in Alaska during part of my childhood. We had rifles for hunting and protection. Most of us had a gun rack in our pickup trucks and typically kept them filled. No one locked their trucks or their houses back then. It was the sixties and life was different. We never thought we’d see something like what we’re seeing now. Guns had a purpose, and unless you were a criminal, up there it was for protection and food. Buying meat was expensive in the stores and most of us had to hunt moose, mountain goat, or other game to afford meat for the winter. That, and we fished.
Although my husband and I live on five acres, around us there are homes on smaller lots. A few of us have more property, however, and most of us have shotguns to deal with vermin, etc. that cause any number of problems on a small farm. My husband is famous for sitting on a stool, waiting for a gopher to pop his head up out of the mound so that he can shoot it. Another neighbor uses some sort of gun to shoot skunks. Another discovered someone on his property at night, came out buck naked, and began shooting his pistol…somewhere.
Look. I get it. We live in a country plagued by fear of the other. And it’s a fear so strong that our lawmakers to date will not stand up to the gun lobby and protect our kids. But at some point, we all must have the will to do something to protect not only our children but everyone from senseless gun violence. No one is suggesting that we shouldn’t be able to protect ourselves. But to allow assault weapons to be in the hands of kids under the age of twenty-one is insane. I raised two boys. As intelligent and sensible as they were at that age, there’s no way they should have had the responsibility of an assault weapon. Nor do I believe anyone under twenty-one should serve in combat. They’re still kids. And they shouldn’t have to experience such things.
I understand that not everyone is ready to re-enact the Assault Weapons Ban. But surely we can agree to increase the purchase and ownership age to twenty-one. Surely we can do that.
Originally published at www.imsteppingaside.com on February 28, 2018.